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Blog: Aceto Balsamico di Modena | 2/3



THE LONG AGING
A true balsamic vinegar does not age in just one barrel. Over the next few years it passes through a veritable battery of barrels, comprising at least six and sometimes as many as twelve. Normally, the vinegar begins its evolution in large oak or chestnut barrels and is then transferred each year to smaller barrels, as it loses about 3% of its volume per year. The wood of these barrels now decisively influences the aroma of the 'Balsamico naturale'. The barrels are made of the following woods: oak (the largest), chestnut, cherry, ash, mulberry, black locust and, only for a short stay, also juniper.

WARMTH, COLD, CALM
Unlike wine, balsamic producers do not agree on the best climatic conditions for aging balsamic. Some swear by warmth in the summer and cold in the winter, while others prefer a consistently lukewarm temperature for aging. But there is evidence that traditional storage is the better: the future balsamic 'works' in the heat of summer, sweating, evaporating; it becomes 'still' in the cold of winter fog: it 'cleans itself', settles suspended matter, a process of oxidation with the air takes place and the 'vinegar' thus becomes balsamic. These seasonal changes that would ruin wines, he needs as long as he matures. That's why it thrives better on the edge of the Po Valley than elsewhere; here, where in some years the temperature range reaches 60 degrees. And humidity is necessary, because in the hills above the fog line the Aceto Balsamico does not come to fruition.

THE BALSAMICO TRADIZIONALE
According to the claim of the protection consortium for the Balsamico tradizionale, the exactly described storage must last at least 12 years. This means 12 years of work, risk and capital commitment for an acetaio (vinegar maker). Family secrets are passed down, telling the vinegar maker how much must and what concentration to fill the first barrel with, at what time to transfer the balsamic to the next barrel, and finally when to submit the finished balsamic to the consortium for testing. Thus, the vinegars of which a producer is proud are very old, aged in barrel for 20, 25, 40 years or even older. In some families in Modena, a 100 or 150 year old balsamic vinegar is passed down from generation to generation. In general, balsamic specialists like to keep secrets, which fosters interest among clientele and the company. For 'antiques', producers charge 1000 euros per quart and more. Such old balsamicos are then much too good for seasoning; like old Armagnacs, they are no longer for consumption but for legend-making.

THE LIVELY VINEGAR INDUSTRY
A lively vinegar industry builds on the fame of these legends: it undermines small producers with cheap balsamic-flavored vinegars. These can be sold at considerable profit despite the cheapest prices, because the consumer does not know the intricacies of production. These products are vinegar worlds away from the real balsamic vinegar because colored, added with sugar coleur, herbs, spices, sugar, salt, prune juice, liqueur and some more. Such a product would perhaps still have to be called salad sauce àla Modena, if it were not for the lucrative, because unprotected name Balsamico. - Gerardo


Aceto Balsamico di Modena

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Shop: Aceto Balsamico di Modena
´Argento´ · Aceto-Balsamico di Modena, Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani, Emilia-Romagna

Argento · Aceto-Balsamico di Modena, Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani


Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani, Emilia-Romagna
€ 150,00
600,00 €/L
´Bollo Aragosta´ · Aceto-Balsamico di Modena Tradizionale, Acetaia Medici Ermete, Emilia-Romagna

Bollo Aragosta · Aceto-Balsamico di Modena Tradizionale, Acetaia Medici Ermete


Acetaia Medici Ermete, Emilia-Romagna
€ 79,95
799,50 €/L
´Invecchiato Acetaia´ · Aceto-Balsamico di Modena IGP, Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani, Emilia-Romagna

Invecchiato Acetaia · Aceto-Balsamico di Modena IGP (Bio), Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani


Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani, Emilia-Romagna
€ 12,00
48,00 €/L
´Perla´ · Aceto-Balsamico di Modena IGP, Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani, Emilia-Romagna

Perla · Aceto-Balsamico di Modena IGP, Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani


Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani, Emilia-Romagna
€ 29,95
119,80 €/L
Aceto-Balsamico di Modena ROSSO, Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani, Emilia-Romagna

Aceto-Balsamico di Modena ROSSO (Bio), Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani


Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani, Emilia-Romagna
€ 7,50
15,00 €/L
Aceto-Balsamico BIANCO, Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani, Emilia-Romagna

Aceto-Balsamico BIANCO (Bio), Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani


Acetaia Giuseppe Cattani, Emilia-Romagna
€ 7,50
15,00 €/L